No. 1 Star: Stephane Veilleux, Minnesota Wild
Veilleux was the Wild offense for the first two periods in a big 3-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks. He fought off a check by Scott Niedermayer to cash in a rebound off Jonas Hiller in the first period. In the second, after Todd Marchant tied the game for the Ducks shorthanded, Veilleux scored on a breakaway slap shot for his 10th of the season and the eventual winner. The Wild would need an insurance goal from Andrew Brunette for the win. For Veilleux, it was his third goal in two games and only the second multi-goal game of the grinding winger's career.
On an afternoon when he was widely ridiculed by Washington Capitals fans, Sidney Crosby had the last laugh. The Penguins captain opened the scoring on a feed from Bill Guerin, and then returned the favor with a nearly no-look pass from the blue line on Guerin's second-period tally. Crosby scored the definitive goal in the shootout for a 4-3 Pittsburgh victory, beating Jose Theodore on the forehand before teammate Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alexander Ovechkin on the Caps' final chance.
Are we witnessing the renaissance of Carey Price? Following up a sterling effort in defeat against the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday, Price made 31 saves in Montreal's 3-1 road win at the Dallas Stars. Price stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period, and backstopped a Canadiens penalty kill that went 9-for-10.
Honorable Mention: Nik Antropov had a goal and an assist in the New York Rangers' national TV win over the Boston Bruins, 4-3. Nikolai Zherdev had the winner, and Sean Avery added an assist in 14:29 of ice time in his first game at Madison Square Garden since rejoining the team. ... Yann Danis made 40 saves for the New York Islanders, and Kyle Okposo's 14th goal was the eventual winner in the Isles' 3-2 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. ... Milan Hejduk, Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth closed out the scoring in the Colorado Avalanche's 5-1 stunner at the Chicago Blackhawks. Tyler Arnason had three assists. Antti Niemi took the loss, and the Hawks heard plenty of boos at home. ... Ilya Kovalchuk blasted a slap shot past Miikka Kiprusoff in the third period to help the Atlanta Thrashers to a 5-2 win over the visiting Calgary Flames; Kiprusoff blamed himself for the defeat.
Dishonorable Mention: Well, this was bound to happen: Martin Havlat left the Blackhawks' game with a "lower-body injury." ... Stars coach Dave Tippett called out Mike Modano and Brendan Morrison after their loss to the Habs; Modano admitted that he wasn't in the game mentally or physically at times. ... Boston goalie Manny Fernandez gave up three softies, and Sabres fans weren't happy about the effort against a team they're chasing in the standings. ... Finally, Marty Turco's brain fart gave the Habs a two-goal lead. The faces of the Dallas fans in this video say it all: